Heathrow intent on getting kids (+ parents) into the habit of multiple plane-dependent holidays per year

Heathrow has been working on its PR by giving figures on how much parents spend on air travel and holidays (some exotic) for their children.  They hope to give the impression to parents that they need to provide these luxuries to their children, as part of being good parents …. more consumerist pressure …. Heathrow says in 2016 an unbelievable 19% of children (presumably in the UK, or those passing through Heathrow?) took at least 7 trips trips per year; 5% go on more than 10 trips per year, taking into account family holidays, school trips and holidays with friends. And the “dream destinations” (ie. long haul ones that make more profit for airlines and Heathrow) for under 16 year olds were “Australia, Hawaii, Everest and Thailand”.  (Really?  Everest?  Is this a joke?)  Heathrow says the average cost per trip for a child (those under 16 pay no Air Passenger Duty) is about £616 – and on average parents will spend about £30,000 for the holidays of their children, up to the age of 16.  Heathrow says “The current generation of kids are dreaming of Bondi Beach, kangaroos and the Outback, with nearly a quarter (23%) of children citing far-flung Australia as their dream destination for 2017.”  And on it goes …. Heathrow’s future customers. “Get ’em young” … So THAT’s why we need another Heathrow runway, with all its public expense and negative impacts over vast areas within perhaps 20 miles of the airport.



Generation destination: Modern kids clock up air miles on foreign adventures

Average British parents spend £29,962 on holidays for little ones

29.12.2016 (e Turbo News – Global Travel Industry News)

  • 2016 saw a fifth (19%) of children take at least seven trips away, compared to their parents who only took four breaks each year
  • Dream destinations for under 16 year olds include Australia, Hawaii, Everest and Thailand
  • Tiny travellers receive an average of £46.80 worth of pocket money per trip
  • Average getaway costs parents £616.47 – totalling over £29,962 during the course of a childhood (under 16)

Heathrow, the UK’s only hub airport, has revealed that today’s kids are a generation of tiny travellers, visiting more countries, clocking up more air miles and having more overseas experiences than ever before. New research reveals that in 2016, one in five (19%) kids went away seven or more times and one in 20 went on more than 10 breaks taking into account family holidays, school trips and vacations with friends.

The current generation of kids are dreaming of Bondi Beach, kangaroos and the Outback, with nearly a quarter (23%) of children citing far-flung Australia as their dream destination for 2017. Meanwhile, parents were dreaming of vacations closer to home, with the likes of Mallorca (17%), Tenerife (17%) and Blackpool (16%) topping their holiday wish lists.

The rising popularity of American television shows may be why many children also now want to take a trip across the pond – first place on the dream list for little ones was the Big Apple, one in three (31%) said New York is the place they would most like to visit this year. This was followed by Australia (23%), Hawaii (13%), Mount Everest (11%) and Thailand (10%).

To help parents make airport experiences as smooth as possible, Heathrow has revealed its top tips for airport travel – including free play areas, kids-eat-free meals and complimentary pampering with over 50 free beauty treatments – before its time to fly.

For many kids, the fun starts before reaching their destination – a fifth (21%) of parents say their child’s favourite part of a holiday is going through the airport or being on a plane.

Wanting to make sure their little ones can capture every moment, 15% of parents will buy them a new SLR camera, video camera or iPhone to give them the best possible technology for capturing their adventures abroad.

While swimming (46%) and camping (23%) was a favourite childhood holiday activity for today’s parents, this generation of mini adrenaline-junkies are increasingly excited by adventure activities such as scuba diving (18%), safaris (14%) and jet skiing (12%).

With getaways becoming increasingly action-packed, parents are now spending £2,333 on an average family holiday, around £616.47 per child. This totals £29,962 on holidays over the course of a childhood.

Parents also give their kids £46.80 pocket money, a 56% increase to what they used to get from their parents.

Parents can help their kids’ holidays get off to a flying start with Heathrow’s Tiny Traveller’s guide on the Heathrow Airport YouTube channel here: Heathrow’s Top Tips from #TinyTravellers


 For more information, imagery or interview requests contact Zoe Taylor at One Green Bean on

Zoe.Taylor@onegreenbean.com or 0207 467 9261.


Notes to editors  [Lots more PR stuff from Heathrow airport, which seems to be the source of the story, including:]

Children under the age of 15 travel free on Heathrow Express and adults can save a further £18 by booking a Heathrow Express Duo Saver ticket online which gives two adults a 25% discount when travelling together. Details of the Heathrow Express Duo Saver ticket can be found here. Details of available Kids Eat Free restaurants during half term are available here.